This week, the U.S. Senate voted (57 to 42) to confirm President Donald Trump’s pick--Scott Gottlieb--as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) new commissioner.
The 44 year old physician has strong ties with the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. However, his association with FDA dates back to the George W. Bush administration when he served as deputy commissioner for medical and scientific affairs.
Gottlieb’s initial nomination and endorsement by President Trump was met with mixed reaction. Supporters are encouraged by his science background in addition to his management experience. Others are concerned about his relationship with big pharma and believe that his FDA decisions may be to the detriment of American consumers. It has been reported that Gottlieb has himself benefited financially as a result of his close ties to the pharmaceutical industry. His work with them earned him nearly $500,000 between 2013 and 2015. He has consulted for or served as a board member for GlaxoSmithKline and Vertex Pharmaceuticals, among others.